One of the great complaints of the scorers during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was the Jabulani ball, which with state-of-the-art technology allowed more twists and turns to help the scorers.
It was the terror of the goalkeepers, who saw how this light ball would become the eagerness of FIFA to have more goals and spectacle in the stadiums.
But now Nike arrives with the opposite idea, to return to the origins of the game with a ball that has the highest precision in shooting and reduce instability: the Nike Flight Ball.
“Nike Flight, a game-changing football, tackles inconsistent aerodynamic issues through a revolutionary ball design. Incorporating Nike’s new AerowSculpt technology, the ball offers a measurable benefit of 30 percent more flight than its predecessor Nike, “says the sports company.
To assist in that process, Nike identified three phases of research:
- Explore phase: They used various tracking systems to measure the flight of the ball from different types of kicks throughout the game. This helped the lab understand what conditions the ball experiences during the game and allowed the engineers to link the quantifiable measurements to the elite players.
- Phase of Recreation: The Laboratory reproduced the types of kick observed in the field and used a robotic leg to replicate a variety of kicks observed in a repeatable and quantifiable manner. This process allowed the ability to measure small differences in performance between balls and assemble a set of quantifiable evidence to innovate.
- Phase of Innovate: Nike Flight ball tests covered 68 different iterations over thousands of hours in the lab. In addition, more than 800 professional athletes participated in the validation of the field tests before reaching a final version.
Kieran Ronan, Nike general manager of Global Football Equipment, commented, “Here, we can detect small differences in performance that may not be noticeable to most athletes, but when those small differences are repeated 68 times, the result is a noticeable jump in performance. ”
The performance-based design features Nike AerowSculpt, a new patented aerodynamic technology.
“Construction started with a square-shaped Aerotrack slot,” explains Ronan. “Over the course of the 68 iterations, we modified the shape of the groove, added sculpted chevrons, and explored multiple features to deliver a geometric pattern that helps promote more stable flight.”
Finally, uAn additional design element comes with the reuse of Nike All Condition Control (ACC) 3D ink. Introduced in 2014, ACC helps ensure optimal grip in wet or dry conditions. The Nike Flight Ball uses 3D ink design to strategically print “micro flaps” throughout Nike AerowSculpt, taking advantage of aerospace principles and further optimizing aerodynamic stability.